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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dealing with a 512 sq 3 story limited access apartment complex. The owners are wanting us to roof it. Knowing it was Farmers, I was in the process of working up my estimate when the Farmers adjuster called. Super nice on the phone and a local 27 year veteran of Farmers. He asked what software I was estimating in and I told him Xactimate, which he follows up with, "God I wish we still used that", and explained the new software system they have to use and how he hates the new software for various reasons which I figured was due to pricing. He stated that we would work together to get the numbers where they need to be for us to do the work after asking if I was a preferred contractor of Farmers, which I am not.

Here's the deal. This is not just a apartment complex, its a luxury living complex where rent starts over 1K. The complex has no 1 or 2 story access and average pitch is 10:12 with some 14:12. On top of that, there is no semi's allowed do to parking lot size and normal roof delivery trucks will be challenging enough, let alone a crane truck.

I will have material access issues, I will have to rent a Lull and bucket, no shingles can be dropped in the courtyard area, needless to say I'm going to get paid correctly to do this job. <--- Period.

I see several post about simply submitting your price to the owner and let them battle it out with the carrier. In this case I have an advantage as the owners REALLY want us to do it, and they even stated that I should not let the carrier play and games with pricing. :thumbup: That said, we are under a time constraint with the weather and I really don't want to wait until spring to roof this thing.

When submitting your price to the owners, are you guys starting the work before coming to a agreement with the carrier? It says on the cover sheet of most claims summary's that no work is approved until a price has been agreed upon if the contractor is higher is why I ask that. Also, if you let the homeowner get all the way to small claims court to get a fair settlement to use the contractor they want, how long is that process?

The reason I was using Xactimate on this is not to take a low profit, because I adjust it for supervision, equipment, fall protection and a bunch of other things that Xactimate allows for, but to expedite the process for my client who understands that every day the window of decent weather is closing.

Thanks In Advance
 

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Roof Pro of Vermont
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351 Posts
Isn't Small Claims for less than $3,500 or $5,000?

What program are they using that you cannot use? This is what a $300,000+ job, why not drop the coin to program up and stay on the same page as Farmer's or at least cross reference the two?

I am not the Insurance Pro some are, but those are my two cents. Good luck, and good score!
 

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Roofing Relapse
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2,556 Posts
Mother Eff their program. It will favor them. Insurance companies operate like casinos when it comes to pricing repair work, the house always wins. The house meaning the casino/insurance company.


Do you know what YOUR costs really are without using someone elses' price list?


Have your suppliers provide you with fixed bids including delivery. Get fixed pricing in writing from your equipment rental supplier. Show them to Farmers. Show Farmers your projected days to complete the job. Done deal. How can you argue with that? "Sir, I hate to tell you but your price list is wrong."


I'll battle it out with the carrier only with a signed contract and a down payment in my bank account. Until then it's the owner's battle. Think of me as a mercenary, but I fight for money not contingencies.


I've gone to arbitrations before. If I go again, they are paying me hourly, regardless if I have a signed contract or not. It's above and beyond the scope of work in my proposal which says nothing about arbitration hearings etc. My time is money no matter what I am doing.
 

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Roofologist
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201 Posts
Mother Eff their program. It will favor them. Insurance companies operate like casinos when it comes to pricing repair work, the house always wins. The house meaning the casino/insurance company.


Do you know what YOUR costs really are without using someone elses' price list?


Have your suppliers provide you with fixed bids including delivery. Get fixed pricing in writing from your equipment rental supplier. Show them to Farmers. Show Farmers your projected days to complete the job. Done deal. How can you argue with that? "Sir, I hate to tell you but your price list is wrong."


I'll battle it out with the carrier only with a signed contract and a down payment in my bank account. Until then it's the owner's battle. Think of me as a mercenary, but I fight for money not contingencies.


I've gone to arbitrations before. If I go again, they are paying me hourly, regardless if I have a signed contract or not. It's above and beyond the scope of work in my proposal which says nothing about arbitration hearings etc. My time is money no matter what I am doing.
Amen!

We do allot of insurance work for all insurance providers. I do work with several adjusters that understand that a company needs to make a profit to stay in business. The rest can piss off!

DO NOT start work without an agreement from either the insurance provider or the customer.

Also, you need to do whatever is necessary to have ALL payments/draws include your name on them. The checks may be sent to the customer directly and if your name is on them they cannot deposit without your signature. Basically this allows you to have the check handed directly too you!

On a project this size I would assume that the mortgage company will disperse checks. Plan on a few weeks lead time for check to arrive. What happens is: the insurance company sends the customer the check, the customer signs the check and sends it to the mortgage holder, the mortgage holder then deposits the check and waits for it to clear the escrow account. The bank will then send a new check to the customer who has to sign it and hand it over to you along with necessary lien waivers.

This is how the mortgage companies keep from getting burned. It takes longer to receive the money but it is in your best interest for them to handle the money.

It sounds like the adjuster is going to work with you so I would return the favor. Some of these guys are pretty good guys. It's better to make friends than enemies. I have one adjuster who helps with itemizing my invoices. Everything is square! I think he was switched to the new software as well. He was cursing it pretty bad last time I spoke with him. It's just another game we have to play. By all means don't lose your tail in the process. We fetch full price for ALL jobs and we are one of most expensive around!

Don't rush into a 500sq. job trying to beat the weather. You may be trying to load your pockets before Christmas and I completely understand. But, you may drain your resources before you ever get paid. I don't pretend to know your situation and can only speak from my own experiences.

If it were me... I would push this job back until March/April when every other roofer is hard up for work. Schedule this one at full price and fill your first month of real roofing with a money maker! Let the rest of the roofers fight over the first no money jobs of the year.

We are in Wyoming so we have a few down months. It seems like everyone is bottom dollar at the beginning of the bid season. My first few months all full up. A job like yours sure does ease the burden on next year.

Do what you will. Just some food for thought.
 

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Roof Pro of Vermont
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351 Posts
Amen!

We do allot of insurance work for all insurance providers. I do work with several adjusters that understand that a company needs to make a profit to stay in business. The rest can piss off!

DO NOT start work without an agreement from either the insurance provider or the customer.

Also, you need to do whatever is necessary to have ALL payments/draws include your name on them. The checks may be sent to the customer directly and if your name is on them they cannot deposit without your signature. Basically this allows you to have the check handed directly too you!

On a project this size I would assume that the mortgage company will disperse checks. Plan on a few weeks lead time for check to arrive. What happens is: the insurance company sends the customer the check, the customer signs the check and sends it to the mortgage holder, the mortgage holder then deposits the check and waits for it to clear the escrow account. The bank will then send a new check to the customer who has to sign it and hand it over to you along with necessary lien waivers.

This is how the mortgage companies keep from getting burned. It takes longer to receive the money but it is in your best interest for them to handle the money.

It sounds like the adjuster is going to work with you so I would return the favor. Some of these guys are pretty good guys. It's better to make friends than enemies. I have one adjuster who helps with itemizing my invoices. Everything is square! I think he was switched to the new software as well. He was cursing it pretty bad last time I spoke with him. It's just another game we have to play. By all means don't lose your tail in the process. We fetch full price for ALL jobs and we are one of most expensive around!

Don't rush into a 500sq. job trying to beat the weather. You may be trying to load your pockets before Christmas and I completely understand. But, you may drain your resources before you ever get paid. I don't pretend to know your situation and can only speak from my own experiences.

If it were me... I would push this job back until March/April when every other roofer is hard up for work. Schedule this one at full price and fill your first month of real roofing with a money maker! Let the rest of the roofers fight over the first no money jobs of the year.

We are in Wyoming so we have a few down months. It seems like everyone is bottom dollar at the beginning of the bid season. My first few months all full up. A job like yours sure does ease the burden on next year.

Do what you will. Just some food for thought.
Very well said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses, here's what's transpired. Farmers is having some commercial issues with the new software, so my adjuster as well as Farmers in my state are all still using Xactimate for their large losses. Not sure if many of you have dealt with a large loss adjuster, but I wish every adjuster (in house or field) shared their understanding of the real world costs of doing construction. My adjuster was extremely flexible about the costs of doing the job and made it clear that he would work with me on pricing as long as he could justify the details of the process. In fact, I settled the claim with him this morning, which was half the time we currently spend trying to educate deck adjusters about the costs differences between us and Uncle Buck with his three son's (exempt from workers comp) who wants to call 2 roof per month enough to pay his mortgage (home office) expenses.

The property is mortgage free, so checks will be sign and drive, and thats how we operate...1st check orders material and gets the job done, depreciation check as received and deductible at job completion. As far as weather, I appreciate the direction on timing, certainly understanding that
we all operate in different climates we plan to complete the project in 14 business days with 18 installers. That will swing depending on temperature as we don't install if it's under 40 degrees.

We are fortunate to have a strong workload right now, and if we put this off, we will be pressed to squeeze it in next month and if we wait until March or April, we will be hopefully be knee deep in hail and we roof 8-10 residential's per week during that time.

No better time that the present to shine and complete this before Christmas for us and for the tenants. Ready set go!

One note I would pass on...Maybe its just in hail alley which is where we are located, but insurance company's homeowners rates around our area are skyrocketing and renewals often happen in December. This means that many people are shopping for new insurance as theirs has gone way up. In the old days, in order for a homeowner to acquire new insurance, the carrier would send a inspector by the address to see if everything looked normal. Most of these inspectors would drive by the house at 20 mph to submit their findings. Those days are over. The carriers are now mandating that a much more hands on assessment be done including the roof. That's where we come in. The agents use us to do pre-insurance roof inspections to determine if there is damage or repairs needed prior to the insurance inspectors going out. This gives them the ability to service their new potential client right out of the gate and mitigate the chances of that new client being denied or having clauses placed on them.

Get free quotes on your home, or simply ask around to see who in your area is offering better rates than others. If you find that your area is feeling a premium push like ours, get set up to service those agents who are working for the most competitive carriers. You will be surprised at how many great agent relationships you can build and how many roofs you can get on and how many of those end up needing something. Make winter a winner :) My .02

Thanks
 

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Public Adjuster
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116 Posts
Some day all roofers will learn that ANY estimating software is just a guide. I have yet to see a job that one of the industry's software programs can properly price without manipulation. Too many contractors think Xactimate is their savior and whilst they do, the insurance carriers are huddled up, rubbing their greedy little hands together.
 
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